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James Oakes Education. (2013) 'Freedom National The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865.'

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  CSPAN    Book TV    James Oakes  Education.  (2013) 'Freedom National The  
   Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865.'  

    February 18, 2013
    5:30 - 7:00pm EST  

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in washington, d.c., james and oakes examines the efforts to end slavery in the war from the
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militaristic to the legislative with a panel that includes a pulitzer prize-winning historian annette gordon-reed and james mike pearson. it's about one hour and 20 minutes. >> over the new year's weekend 9100 people visited the abuilding for the proclamation. some were sitting by for hours for the time to read the words forever free and to see abraham lincoln's signature. although it didn't end slavery in america it fundamentally changed the character of the war. overnight the union became a war for human liberation. for the nearly 4 million it was a symbol of hope. that hope of freedom was finally realized in the amendment to the constitution which abolished slavery in the u.s. jurisdiction
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these landmark documents of the freedom reside here at the national archives but they are filled with documents that tell the story of the emancipation of the individual level. the letter from a black soldier to the enslaved wife assures her there's a present national difficulties are great yet i look forward to a brighter day and the one asked president lincoln if she were signing the nitze push proclamation sadly the answer was no because she was in maryland, a border state unaffected by the decree. the first-person accounts of the slaves on sob files provide a window on to the world before and after the war. some talk of choosing a name tabare as a free person and others describe the long searches to reunite their families. milestones denied to and enslaved population, marriage, going to school now become
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popular for free people and our tremendous holdings that contains stories of the struggles and achievements. historians on the panel looked at the records and as other research institutions and the investigations we are lucky to have them with us tonight. leading the discussion tonight is annette gordon-reed a pulitzer prize winner and the professor of history at harvard law school, the professor of history at harvard is university and a professor at the radcliffe institute for advanced studies. joining her james mcpherson, a pulitzer prize-winning historian and professor at princeton university, edward, the civil war historian, author and president of the university of richmond, a historian, author and professor of history at columbia university, and james stifel that city university of new york and the author of "freedom national" the topic of tonight's discussion. a book that was research at the
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new york public library at the center for scholars and writers and i was the director of libraries of the new york public library. >> our other panelists will sign books in the lobby after the program. please join me in welcoming to the stage. [applause] >> good evening. i'm glad to see all of you here. wonderful audience. we are going to have a conversation we hope discussing and then we will take questions from the audience. i am sure do have a lot and i hope he will not be shy about asking them. want to start first with a gem and asking a question about the book about the title of the book and some terms you used that
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people may not understand, freedom national. estimate it comes from a speech that charles sumner gave as a u.s. senator the speech was called the sectional and first there are two things. it's a constitutional doctrine the political revolution is in the antislavery petitions had formulated by which they could claim that the constitution made slavery strictly a local state institution but that everywhere the constitution was solvent freedom was to be the policy of the united states. so it's on the high seas and washington, d.c. and in the western territories freedom should be the policy of the national government and second, it meant logically the series of policies the federal government could undertake in order to make freedom national thereby putting slavery on the course of the ultimate extinction.
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stomach and was important for you. why did you decide you're going to use it as your title with is the moment this was granted convey what he most wanted to know about? >> it was the discovery we tend to write about the emancipation as something that starts entirely with the war and was the discovery that they can enter the war iraq with a set of policies they intended to pursue to make the freedom national based on this very controversial doctrine of what they believe the constitution did and didn't allow so my book is mostly about the origins and evolution of antislavery policy during the war and i discovered there are more into velo origen's than i had anticipated in the freedom national captures the organizing framework. >> see you think this is the conventional wisdom about the
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emancipation story? to overturn something? or do people have a different view about it? >> people argue the republicans come into the war and denying any intention of the slavery and that. but as a consequence may be emancipation was an accident. it was an ad for tim jeal and something nobody intended to happen. there are historians to make that claim and i am against them, yes. >> this is obviously an issue that's here now and people are doing about it. why is it important to say that lincoln and the republicans came to this leader and it wasn't a part -- >> of the discussions in the last four years i think most audiences somebody wants to resist that idea and a lot of
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skepticism about frankly i spoke at a school in new york yesterday and they said isn't it true we needed a hero and they were paying that story because they couldn't really address the fact that slaves basically forced us upon them and so i found that even though lincoln was generated does a lot of deep skepticism. estimate there's a lot of rehabilitating that would have to be done. a lot of people have problems with them. >> pretty focused problems, but they point to all of the anomalies and the colonization she believes that why didn't he have a plan for the
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reconstruction, why is he still running it? so i think that he is right even though people recognize he is somehow responsible, people are just -- mabey in today's cynicism i think you can't really have guided us through all of that sort of being controlling but i think that there is a knowledge that lincoln was really a racist and that therefore we can't really give him all the credit. there was a scholarly knowledge and all these other kinds of countervailing evidence that suggest that she finds the thread that ties this altogether and the contradictory evidence. >> specifically they come back to that. at what point do they begin to develop a plan about this? do you get a sense that there is a consensus that they are going to go after the slavery?
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>> it's pretty clear i've backed into this. i started the usual place most and then i went on to the first act i was trying to figure out most of the stories didn't do anything and i decided why did they bother passing and i discovered that they were all talking about emancipation and was understood to be in emancipation law and i felt there was a full-scale debate and this is the summer of 1861 and the congress is called in to a special session of five months ahead of schedule to attend today's after the department issues the instructions to began emancipating. they couldn't have thought this up right away. i went back and looked in shorty have they are saying you leave the union we are going to start emancipating slaves i kept
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backing up and ended all the way in the 18th century. but one of the things like understand the resistance about lincoln because i think people have a hard time coming to any reasonable argument about lincoln the tendency to turn him into a and demands a kidmans -- emancipater he's a republican and they have this idea of what they can and cannot do. the implement them very quickly. quicker than i expected them to begin the emancipating and implementing them, and they learned over the course of the next several years but this wasn't enough and they were going to have to go further and it isn't working in the border states and they have to shift
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the policy there and ultimately they end up where they realized by 1864 but none of the policies are unef and the shift to a completely different policy that no one imagined before the civil war which is a 13th amendment to the constitution. so it's about the evolution of policy by the party, not lincoln as a great bonanza peter psp mikey is part of the evolution to read the whole party is changing. they are responding to the limits of their party as their implementing. >> you start out with a conventional plays and then you feel that you have to start getting back into the story and pushing back. do you have any idea why other people didn't pushback? >> that far? >> why have you come to the point that -- amine it must have
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occurred to you, this question. >> and i don't like that question. [laughter] >> i think there is a lot of different reasons why it became difficult. you know there's a split between the political historians and social historians and they say different things. they don't talk to one another. so the link and historians, you know, there are lincoln scholars who say he knew from the time he was a young man that he was destined to free the slaves and so they believe the origen's but not the way that i do. >> is their anything politically at stake not pushing things back aside from professional clerks or whatever? what is at stake wax
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>> that i really don't know. it's complicated. >> if you are going through this and saying my gosh. why hasn't anybody seen this in that moment you discover something. >> right. well, i think it started in the 60's about the politics could do, and i think up until the 60's and the 70's people did see this. there was a body of scholarship and after world war ii to talk about the antislavery or agendas in the civil war and they did trace it back although i think the scholarship got cenacle of the politics people to get a legitimate interest in the way the social movements affect
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politics and became focused on the abolitionist movement and then people started writing history from the bottom-up and became focused on the way the slaves participated in the process and the scholars went off on their own and stuff like that and they never talked to one another some of it is just the professional scholarship in the last decades. i just decided you need to put social history and political history and movement together and if you do -- >> i tried to do that. i try to avoid this question of figuring out who is the person responsible for freeing the slaves and how did it happen to? what is the process by which it happens. >> does anybody else want to jump in that has any thoughts about this?
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>> i'm talking the for my to distinguished colleagues have had a chance. i'm not like that. [laughter] you know, you said they knew all along. i'm curious what rhetoric didn't see what was about all along since he held it at a great distance in 1860 and so if it was apparent, why wouldn't it be apparent to the man who is doing so much? >> first a question the premise. i don't think that he was as distant in the 1860's as all that and second, more than i realized for those of you that don't know my previous book was about --
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[laughter] [inaudible] more than i realized when i wrote that book, i realized as a particular position and the constitutional debate he had shifted to a view of the constitution that very few abolitionists believe. he believed was an antislavery doctrine that entitled the federal government not a moral obligation on behalf of them to immediately going to the states and begin abolishing slavery. no abolitionist believes that, and he acknowledges by the late 50's that hardly anybody believes that but a lot of that is that, it's driven by what is holding you back and why are you resisting when it is a document that in power as you to do more
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than you are doing some of that is that. it's also the position of reformers are supposed to take, and i think he's pushing all along knowing he's not going to bother pushing against the democrats because they aren't going to move on emancipation he only pushes against republicans because they are movable in ways the democrats are not. >> so is lincoln high reluctant to? >> he was a republican and the have policy and he goes along with the policy. >> they are talking of slavery all through the secession crisis and he goes along with it and the famous incident at fortress monroe was butler in may of 1860 that goes out to the cabinet and within a few days the cabinet immediately improves the decision by not to return slaves
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to their owners and that is to be the first step. the congress passes the first act in the emancipates the rebellion and he signs it right away and is implemented two days later so i think the reluctance argument is was mistaken as the great emancipate her. we are looking film for someone outside of this has become true i hate to be the person that raises the movie -- we live in the world where we are looking back looking for an imperial president and i don't think it worked that way back then. >> we want them to do things that would have been inconceivable for a president to do in the 19th century. so he's a republican. they have this policy could if he goes along with the presidency and that's phil law.
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i don't see reluctance and i don't see him freeing all of the slaves. >> can you talk about the evolution, i discussed this before. >> welcome a you know, linda and i think as one said he always hated slavery as far back as he could remember and there is no reason to doubt that. but you know, before the war the first thing we have to remember as people looking at that period is nobody knew it was coming. we knew we look back at it seemed inevitable and clear but nobody in the 1850's knew there was going to be a civil war that would be dead within a few years. jim explains this in his book, they were working within the political system and the constitutional system on like frederick douglass who is outside of that. what can they do without slavery
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even with this freedom national idea jim wright's about there's nothing the federal government can do about slavery in the states where it exists it is created by the state law. the federal government to mississippi to say we are going to abolish slavery so they talk about the periphery of the various things but lincoln and most republicans said we are looking forward to some and to slavery sometime in the future so lincoln in the 1850's is basically talks about plan for getting rid of slavery that is premised on this states how do you encourage them to do that? we give you money for their property, you can do it very gradually over a long period of time and they say we will encourage them to leave the country because we don't want a
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gigantic population. we know that so they will go to africa or central america or something so that's the plan. it's not plan any southern state ever accept sampling then puts the plan forward in 1861 and a few months into the civil war matt he goes to delaware and says here's the plan but they said we are not interested in abolishing slavery. you don't understand. we don't want a plan to get rid of slavery but it keeps preventing it to the border states so lincoln's evolution i think is the evolution of someone who sees the necessity of action against the slavery but moves to different ways of dealing with it and by the middle we are talking about the innovation proclamation by the middle of 1862 comegys moving towards a completely different way of dealing with slavery which that's the proclamation is. we all saw it out there is a military order it is based on
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the military necessity. but if you put it that way, you don't need the consent of them anymore. therefore, all of the old policies are irrelevant. the gradualism is irrelevant, monetary compensation is irrelevant, the colonization as irrelevant. this is a new plan. for the military reasons we are going to declare them a free to weaken the other side. so, lincoln -- that is a form of the evolution, the thing that i think is the most impressive to me somebody that is studying very carefully, lincoln doesn't start out as the great demands peter in any way and certainly he shares the views about african-americans in this society but every step forward he never goes back and he thinks about the implications. maybe this isn't a good idea,
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etc.. on the question of the role of the society he thinks about what role they are going to play and he moves forward on that. he thinks about the complications of the policies putting forward so that's what i see as the evolution that he's willing to kind of accept the logic of a sudden and by the end of his life in 1965 he's occupying a very different positions on race in america, slavery and its faith than he had earlier in his career. >> what role did the military play in terms of policy? do any of you have anything about did it help push him along, with the ahead of the curve? >> the military is out there on the front lines not only fighting the war but also on the front lines of getting rid of
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slavery. take the first incident as jim mentioned in may of 1861, benjamin butler is the union commander wife they say they've been working on the confederate fortifications, the confederate officer comes and says they belong to so and so in virginia and wants them returned, and he says no. he tells them know. the next step is for more and more slaves to come into the union lines. in the congress passes the confiscation the emancipation act and it is the department that issues the order to implement that. orders go out to the military commanders not to return to the fugitive slaves so the military is right on the cusp of the process from the beginning.
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i think a lot of military junior officers don't see themselves in any way as the man's a pater's. the more we see them as in the south, the more they realize that slavery as frederick douglass himself put it on the one occasion, the backbone of the rebellion should they return the slaves and they are going to be used to sustain a war effort? and one way to win the war is to
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take away the slaves got to take away the labor power of the slaves and bring it over to our side. more and more soldiers are riding home and saying in 1862 it's time to take off. it's time to make of the traders feel the way the war and one way is to take the slaves so this penetrates down into the union army and you'll find one example even when the offices like the general would say they don't want this to become a war of slavery. when they come to the union lines in the border states like maryland or kentucky and the master comes and says the soldiers want them back we will
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drive you out of here. so clearly there is a role that is being played from the top down from the commander-in-chief town whose president lincoln down to the common soldier in the ranks. from fairly early in the war. >> absolutely. you've just jump in. >> of the evolution one of the things that happens by 1862 is that the soldiers are riding back and saying it's time to take the gloves off but they are also saying we get down here and the only loyal people we are finding that the only people we can trust our track slaves. one of the evolution is the party is thinking and the figure of lincoln as thinking is the realization of any hope they had that the war would spark an uprising among the unionists to what throw the rebellion into chaos was gone and part of the
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reason is gone, the major part of the reason was gone as the soldiers were riding back to their families and commanders in the field were riding back saying we get down here and there are no loyal to the only oil people we can trust the people who were given esen permission, crucial military information about where the confederates are. the only people that welcome us are the slaves. they said at a certain point there is no such thing as a disloyal slaves. that also evolves over the course of the war some of the realization that the slaves are loyal and they couldn't count on any oil uprising in the white population is also critical to the evolution of the slavery policy. >> this message to congress july 4th of 1861, lincoln said there is reason to believe that except for south carolina he was
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willing to grant south carolina probably most of the whites were rebels but he cut out south carolina and it's reasonable to think that a majority are closet unionists and if we appeal to the better angels of their nature and reconciliate them to try to bring them back into the union maybe we could do that. that's in july of 1861. by july of 1862, that's gonna. and as jim said, they put lane ten on down and it is the sleeves that for the unionists in the self-interest no solid core of the white unionists, and the confederate states. ..
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all the things she said archer, we just visualize everywhere the union army is an african-americans in the union army and go fine other 21865, episodes of rape, of being abandoned. i think the two stories.
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one is the evolution of americans wake up and becomes better and we want everyone to be abraham lincoln. i point out that in 1864, link and got the same percentage of the vote he had gotten in 1860, which means 45% of white further nine, including the united states army voted against abraham lincoln in 1864. which is amazing. after the gettysburg address after gettysburg itself and atlanta and shenandoah valley, lincoln has shown himself to be the great leader he is, nearly half of the population will support abraham lincoln. so i guess it strikes me as necessary to look at the whole universe. if you look at the republican party and its policy of leaders, jim is exactly right. if you pull the camera back and say who i was on board with this, i think this is one thing
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the movie does a pretty good job of showing the democrats who are just apoplectic that lincoln didn't win. i don't think reconstruction -- at the beginning. you asked before it annette, about what is gained and lost in the prospectus today. i think it's the danger of seeing this as the unfolding, a vision come a plan a policy is that we forget how opposed he was, how risky it was, i think the election of 1864 is the turning point in the war. so nobody can do it on in one frame. jim has put down the frame of what drove people about.
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another free web eat, let's look at the northern population as a whole. and then look at the southern population. the fact that only 1000 weightman in virginia have fought for the union after so many have voted for the constitutional party before. i'm struck at the constant change that people are constantly redefining loyalty and very remarkable ways. so i just wanted to stimulate things. >> you could turn what she said around and say is that remarkable that after the incredible casualties of 1864, you know, the terrible, terrible loss of life and that lincoln still carried every single northern state except new jersey perhaps.
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>> aspirate differ from you guys. you guys look at the electoral college. >> that a majority was still willing to continue the war under those circumstances you could say is actually remarkable, that after all mcclellan was suffering a policy of peace but with union. he wasn't say let's give in to the rebels. but he said at the peace plan. i'm not going to tell you what it is, but i have one. [laughter] so you can look at it both ways. i'm not saying you're wrong at all. the point you're making is quite important. the north is deeply divided. it was not a united north. they were sending us in the sms does south as you know he's from east tennessee, i place it did have a lot of supporting the
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union. >> and if you try to explain what happened following the line you folks do this right. if you're trying to understand what the universe is like, i think it is easy to sort of be on the side that wins and the supposition and reservations are swept away. so everything i've done is to account for other variants as well as the line that goes through it, the entire range at ideology that we are contesting. ironically that goes back to the very first question that when people see us not fully accounted for the anomalies, reservations, resisted in all this, it makes them skip the goal to see me making a case for what ultimately triads. so i don't use jargon either, but they do use teleological
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come over you start and go back to the beginning. we need to resist that at every turn. that is my own take on it. >> we do have to explain what happens. some things happened and some things didn't happen. historians on notice that at every moment there are many options out there many possibilities and nothing is ever inevitable. on the other hand, since emancipation did happen and make it and was reelected, et cetera, we have to provide a story, which plausibly explains that while taking into account that there were other options on the table. >> i think people find american history less interesting than it could be because we suppress all the alternative histories long way. i disagree with all three of my friends here. it is my job appeared to be the
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representative of that kind of days. >> during the question-and-answer period, be gentle with me. >> i think actually there's a lot of different ways, which i actually tried very hard to frame a book is an anti-theological book to say nobody knew until the hand with the outcome is going to be and i did put an awful lot of democrats into my story to share exactly what republicans were up against. one of the things that has always struck me goes to the second question about why didn't we know. the problem with the way we talk about emancipation so far is that in the sense with the teleology we are looking for is a disaster situation in the postwar south and we are trying to explain the failure of somehow thinks to turn out as would've liked back onto something about the way
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emancipation begins this. a much more serious problem than the one that says i don't think anybody thinks that. that's not true. there are lincoln scholars who say lincoln knew from the time he was 10 that he was going to for this ways and people have said things like by the time lincoln got around to issuing the proclamation, no force on earth could have stopped it. lincoln scholars make teleological arguments, but that dominate teleology in the literature has been the pull of reconstruction in the war to explain what happened and that's one of the things i'm trying to resist. >> back to the proclamation, what difference does it me, all of you tell me, what was critical importance? you were talking before about the fact that slaves are running away.
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there is a sense, not inevitable , that things have been breaking down before this. was critical about the proclamation? >> it is a point at which it implemented policy the republicans have decided upon to basically expand emancipation to the entire confederacy. so it takes emancipation universal in its attempts to implement that by changing the policy in two important ways. first we all know about his lincoln opens the army to the armed forces of african-americans based on the militia act but it previously been passed. and second, it lifts the ban on enticement that up in a place since the beginning of the war. they began emancipated slaves on
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august 8, 1861, but they be and union soldiers from going on plantations and encouraging slaves to leave. the proclamation was that beyond and from that point and from a you see union officers and soldiers going out to plantations say look, free. lincoln has freed you. come and join the union army and from that point on you see right from the start of the war. and that part you see truly enormous numbers of slaves following the union army because of the act or policy from the emancipation forward is to encourage this. >> i don't think you can sell short the immense symbolic value. it got enormous exposure not only in the united states, but abroad. and it's the one single document
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that stands out. it is part of a process that's been going on before the emancipation proclamation and continued after the emancipation proclamation. but it is like kind of an ekg. suddenly it is that they are and it has this enormous visibility and the work of it circulates through the south. i think it encourages even worse ways to run away. but it is also announced that that the war has another purpose as well as just restoring the old union. it's no longer the old union as lincoln said baker and gettysburg. give me a new birth of freedom and the one thing that stands out symbolic of that new birth of freedom in 1863 is the emancipation proclamation.
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>> i also think because it's universal, because it makes emancipation universal throughout the states, it costs tens by their betters to the idea that the war is not going to and without slavery having been thoroughly abolished. the fact that turned out not to be the case was crucial because i think it created political will by which a 13th amendment becomes possible and conceivable in 1864 and five in a way for wake is inconceivable in 1861 and 62. >> i agree. i think the proclamation which you have the opportunity to see a little while ago as a little hard to read in this kind of faded right now, but everybody can easily find out what it says. this strikes me as interesting as not simply what you just heard, that lincoln addresses a
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paragraph into slaves themselves. another is committees dealing with them now is people who the union must win their loyalty. he says first of all that they have a right to defend their freedom by violence if necessary. he says i urge you not to use violence except in self-defense. slaves are going to rise up and cut the throats of their masters. there'll be a giant race war in the south. lincoln could easily have said just take it easy and don't do anything. but he said you have the right to defend your freedom, even by violence if necessary. and secondly, he said i urge you to go to work for reasonable wages. i mean, this is probably the least of it, but they always find out were reasonable interesting. why not go to work for wages?
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that's partly the free labor idea from before the civil war that people who write to negotiate for wages, choose their employer, but to pay up to slaves is a rather interesting thing in the middle of the proclamation of emancipation. one of the things about lakenheath link and if he was a master of care. you have to read thinking carefully to get the full depth of what the scene in particular moment. >> one thing the emancipation proclamation does is say war will not be prosecuted to its very end. every defines the purpose as well as the way the war is thought. there really is no turning back, slavery and everything else. so i think it really is appended for which the war turns.
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>> overseas, does it have any effect, any foreign policy implications? >> is certainly did have an effect overseas. in the month over january 1st, 50 public meetings were held around the u.k. thousands of people attended these meetings and praised the lincoln administration, praised the united states for the emancipation proclamation. it ended, i think, for definitively any possibility of british intervention on behalf of the confederacy, which had a potential problem, potential danger to the union cause right up until the emancipation proclamation and after it. it precluded the possibility of an intervention, which had been a live auction up until that
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time. >> anything else you would like to say about your book before we turn it over to the audience for questions? >> fire. [laughter] [applause] >> i just want to say one word about jim's book as his publicity agent. one of the things they think is very good and important about the book as it urges us to get away from the dichotomy is the road at the union or is the work of slavery? he shows both issues were in the minds of the republicans from the very beginning. the balance shifts, but it's not as if the two years in the union have been suddenly become interested in slavery. the very beginning of the work on that people were trying to save the union in which slavery would be on the way out in some way. so i commend him for trying to get us away from that either or
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situation, which is so common in discussions of the civil war. >> to expect opposition? did you expect opposition? [inaudible] [laughter] >> i've been telling my friends for two years. i call it on the e-mail and come in the line, the book nobody will believe. >> this is a book for the general public as well. you're speaking to everyone. >> i really don't know. i can imagine pushback on that but i can also imagine at this moment in time when i think some of the citizens and politics have diminished a little bit. i just don't know. i just can't tell. >> okay, we'll find out. [inaudible] of course. >> if people have a question, you know the drill. this is being recorded, so we
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need to hear what you're asking. so i think i will start over here. >> good evening. gentlemen, my question is about the prelude that i was interested in the evolution of lincoln on the republicans, are particularly turn your attention to the conflict had happened along the kansas border area because that was one of the changes of the republican party, the decision to leave behind a compromise and instead allow states to go, whether or not to be free states. i'm wondering what impact that had on the march to war and evolution of the national party stances. >> well, i will make a stab at that. the kansas controversy really gave birth to the republican party. jim's book is about the republican party and its success in bringing an end to the slavery. that is that the republican party was born in opposition to
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the kansas nebraska act. that is not where the story starts, but that's a major punctuation point in the story. >> looked at this way. >> yes, i have a question for professor oakes about the way they interpret a the first confiscation act and of course subsequently military orders. but what was the role of these commanders in terms of what happened with fugitive slaves and that sort of thing in the civil war? how did they even feel about emancipation so to speak? >> the union army is like the north. it's divided. the north is divided over this in the union army is divided. this anti-slavery generals and soldiers. if there is a general resistance on the part of soldiers who are democrats as making this war and
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anti-slavery were. but that said, there is also in the army, and they surprised me, more than i realize, a commitment to the idea of civilian rule and if congress passes a law and of the war department issues these orders, we have two of these disorders. and it is not too much resistance in the confederate states, and associated states. the border states is a mess because the state laws presumably are still in existence and yet there are policies and unit from washington they contradicting things. and so most of the conflict we see within the union army about implementation, but the way the union armies treated in the border states, maryland, kentucky, missouri. generals in the states are the ones he's been a supplemental literature when i talk about
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these things. it's relatively clear cut early on in that military emancipation is legitimate in the disloyal state. this in the border states to get a lot of tension especially within the army. >> give them president lincoln's scale working with congress and this success amber johnson hot, what do you think of president lincoln was killed. >> if eric's question. >> is to recall counterfactual history, which is fine. [laughter] >> you can't be wrong. you know, it's inconceivable that lincoln would have got himself into fixing their johnson did. think of is far too connected to the mainstream republican party,
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far too good a politician, for she connected with northern public opinion. it's impossible to imagine lincoln becoming so alienated from congress the way johnson ended up and being impeached by congress. i actually think it is quite likely that has lincoln lived, lincoln and congress would've worked as something of reconstruction mastering the civil war. they find every single bill that passed through congress with an antislavery, which is marred by reconstruction. lincoln and congress were guided to you on the construction. it would've probably looked very much like the civil rights act of 1866, which was a mainstream republican measure are trying to guarantee the rights of free labor for free slaves in something probably like the 14th amendment. what they have gone further than that to radical reconstruction,
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maybe not under lincoln because the dynamics of push them towards radical reconstruction was the impasse of johnson. and you would have had that impasse with lincoln. the further you get in the history, the more subtle speculation it becomes. you would have probably seen something like a 14th amendment if lincoln had lived, but what about cooperation of the president, not the total opposition away within their johnson. >> my question is for mr. oakes. i'm not a professional historian, but i'm a member of the public who doesn't buy your argument yet either. i multipart question will make a brief period is your thesis from the outset of the republican party was spent on abolishing slavery? and if so, archie that required to tell us which republicans and over time so charles summers, who are more liberal compared to the moderate and conservative republicans who did not want to end slavery. also a quick note about
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frederick douglass and changing the constitution, wasn't gary smith feature knife in his news newspaper? did the whole daycare or sony do before that without the constitution? estimates repair question. >> he was certainly influenced by gary smith. that's no question. i'll resist the suggestion of some biographers have made that he changed his mind because garrett smith paid him $200 pair of frederick douglass wasn't that kind of person. daneyko backwards. >> the republican party from the start. >> the republican party an antislavery party. with the republican party was committed to was putting slavery on a course of ultimate distinction. what does that mean? and is the kind of thing eric was talking about before.
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nobody believes the federal government has the power to go into a state and abolish slavery. so that's not what it means. it means a series of policies, some of which i republicans expected. no slavery in the territories, virtually all republicans in washington d.c. virtually all republicans wanted to revive its not repeal the slave act of 1850. not all of them believe the federal government had the power for any business, for example, of abolishing slavery on military installations and associated states, and it is states, but there is talk about some republicans. in the 1856 and 1860 republican platform. freedom is the normal, natural condition that exists under the constitution and only in the states where slavery creates a law to slavery exists
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constitutionally. so the commitment to freedom national is a general overarching policy of the entire party. >> why are you skeptical? >> just based on reading books by eric foner and james mcpherson. [laughter] >> i thought we agreed. >> back over here. >> i have a two-part question. the first is only appreciated your response is to dr. reid regarding the effect of the emancipation proclamation, they all spoke to the effect of the emancipation proclamation on war. what about the effect of the emancipation proclamation on the people at creed? and this.
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but it brought to people who knew the words that said forever free. and he began to leave the plantation. in fact in darkened rooms on the night of december 31st, 1862 and waited until midnight, when the emancipation proclamation would take effect. it may not have meant for sure that they were emancipated, the certainly the spiritual shackles came off in the physical shackles in the legal shackles are never going to be on the same way again. that's my statement. anyway, [laughter]
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[applause] >> by mages quickly respond to that it's a story that i think that it had. thomas went were thick and thin in south carolina who is a famous new england abolitionists medusa carolina to become the kernel of the first black regiment recruited in the confederate states, which caused first-out carolina. and he talks about a celebration in beaufort, south carolina on the sea islands are and the thousands of former slaves who had been liberated they are with the union occupation early in the war. during the course of other speeches and so on, higginson during a break in this, a quivering woman's voice starts singing my country to 50, it bought one in. for the first time is taken passaic, she had a country.
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i was at the emancipation proclamation meant to her into the thousands of other former slaves who were in the audience they are on january 1st in 1863 in south carolina. >> and i decide something? i'm going to take the ed ayers up her cheer and that there were many different stories and what jim just said is completely right in an area where the union army was occupying sea islands. many parts of the confederacy with the union army didn't get until the end of the ward and i was talking before about texas they didn't get there at all. that's why after the war was over at the union commander came into texas and announced slavery is over because there had been a single battle or anything in texas. there were many points of the confederacy were slaves get to know about the emancipation proclamation, but it doesn't
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actually had the practical effect on them until towards the end of the war. in fact, what lincoln called for in frederick douglass in august 1864, he says, you know, i am disappointed that not were slaves or running off. i want you to figure out a way to go into the south and spread word of the emancipation proclamation and encourage states to rent to union lines. so in some areas, the proclamation was immediate and people felt a spiritual liberation that you're referring to. in others, took a longer time. in other words, emancipation is a process. it did not just happy january 1st, 1863. not only political emancipation, the political emancipation of people feeling they were free. >> the slave people never within union reach, never. i think it's it's how we combine all of these in the same story.
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>> someone argued it's still happening. i still have another question. >> quick. [laughter] >> and i needs in thinking that unless you're taking the moral measure of the man, meaning abraham lincoln, should we care what his motivations were? in freeing the slaves are moving on the 13th amendment. >> as historians we should care. we tried to figure out everything. >> a guess, if we want to look at him as a moral question. but as a political question, is it important to second-guess the results? >> i say in the spirit of your first statement, if you turn the telescope around, if you're
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becoming free, he can believe whatever he wants to. >> yes, i have two questions for dr. ayers and mcpherson. francis leiper who was on the conduct of armies during time of war, i understand that was a direct result of the emancipation proclamation because lincoln was concerned about potential uprising, slave uprising in the south of potential bloodbath in basically the south had indicated that they were going to enslave black soldiers. so i think based on what i've been reading, that leiper document was a direct result of the emancipation proclamation. i'd like to get your thoughts on it. the other question quickly as they were 200,000 blacks have served in the civil war. approximately how many blacks
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were battle casualties as opposed to blacks that were killed -- died as a result of disease or illness is? i just want to get your thoughts on that. >> i can answer the second question and then i'll yield someone else the first part of it. 37,000 died in the war, which is slightly higher than white soldiers. but the reason for that was primarily deceased mortality, which was much higher among black soldiers then it was white soldiers. as a 34,000 of the 37,000 black soldiers who died, died of disease. so it was a 10 to one ratio, where in the way soldiers with a two to one ratio. >> there is a new book, lincoln's coat, that says that is interesting.
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he admires that, but he also says that winning nations want to codify the rules of war and i don't know if it's a direct result, but they were linked together. lincoln was looking for a parser rationale on which this policy make an nes international law and was consistent. and so, lieber is making sure, as much as possible, but the great fear is going to be the slave rebellion. lieber is trying to codify as much as possible, but jim hoaxes showing the army doing and to give it a rationale of logic and endures much to this day. it's interesting that the points out that much about code is actually about slavery. that kind of fall so if people use it for international law
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today. that's my own limited understanding that you write those things can be together. >> it had to do with a lot of other things including how to treat guerrillas in guerrilla warfare. the behavior of occupation troops and their relationship with civilians. so it's not just slavery. >> all of that part has endured. >> i had a question for james mcpherson. i read in battle cry for freedom something atchison about the start of the war early on how both sides really believe the war would last very long. the rebels and the yankees going into that, even before sumter, everything is broke out would be a relatively short skirmish and they're going to squash each other quickly. if things endured a starting with bull run into shenandoah
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and especially with antietam as the war dragged on, at the risk of sounding too ideological icons, is there evidence to suggest that perhaps the emancipation proclamation was issued by abraham lincoln as perhaps a bold measure to really speed up the war by way of total war is a massive head rush towards total war and this perhaps could be a real reason for this issue, speaking beyond the series that make in it beyond slavery in freeing the slaves. could it be more about that subject as well? >> lincoln himself said this is a military measure to help win the war. you are quite right to suggest and it's also part of the process that the were becoming what historians now call hard war. the idea that the war would be
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over in just a few, that both sides share back in 1861 with the talk long gone and clearly within masher -- a military necessity was the phrase used, widespread phrase used to justify the emancipation proclamation, a military necessity to help us win the war by weakening the confederacy. it was certainly part of that process. >> in anticipation of greater bloodshed for that matter and some of the skirmishes that followed. >> well, nobody in january 1st , 1863, could know whether the war was going to go on for another 28 months as they did, or even longer organize. but clearly it is arty gone on for almost two years and i think you're quite right to suggest that one of the hopes weis would help the north to win the war
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sooner. the reaction among a lot of northern people as well as most southern weis was that this would prolong the war by making the southern people fight even harder because now there is much more at stake for them. if they lose the war, there might've been before emancipation became the professed policy but the emancipation proclamation. so they were both reactions. one vendor may speed up the war and bring the war to an end sooner. in my prolong the war and make it even more bloody. >> the book mentioned by john whitcomb of code speaks directly to the question you're asking. one of the points that the peacemaking is that in order to find, to embed emancipation and the loss of board, to justify it, lieber and the lincoln
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administration had to expand the powers of the union on the army in its attack on civilians. you have to broaden the definition of military necessity to include going on to plantations and taken with the southerners due to their property away from them, but nonmilitary homes and farms in the south. the paradox is to get emancipation legalize, you have to expand the parameters of war in ways that we may not like. >> there's another indirect result. emancipation proclamation calls for the enlistment of african-american soldiers stops the confederacy from exchanging prisoners and see you would've seen a set of skyrocketing of death in andersonville because of the lack of exchange directly as a result of that policy. >> thank you.
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>> because it got so many historians on the same stage of got a bigger picture question. if possible i would like to hear from each of you. in the course of your research and writing books, not only about what were talking about here, the things that preceded that, things that happen now, things i might have been in a future come is very northstar you keep coming back to when it comes to the way the events unfold, no matter how basic it might be, but as historians, do you see something that keeps coming up over and over again? >> specifically about the war? >> anything about people or leadership or the way events just happen. kind of a broad question i know. [laughter] >> all go first. all kind of articulate a little bit dat i have an ibook when the
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civil war is deep contingency, in which people's entire identity pivoted to the way south as an example is using the ford about people who had voted for the whigs and die for the confederacy. the example he uses a printout with them. they decided god has become a confederate. so you can see at various points all that often maybe nine of the event will prove to be that want a view of the world is sort of cascading through the border as a consequence anticipating at the outset. i think history for me as a series of punctuations and radiates out rather than a flowing stream. last back >> there's a bunch of historians
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on the stage. >> it's a major problem. you're always as an historian those things that seemed driven by irresistible forces by the fact that anything can happen. it's never easy. there is no answer in any particular situation you're describing at any point along the way is striven by both of these facts. accidents happen. they don't, then completely unpredictable ways. >> anything can happen than existing structures and ideologies. >> a good example is the point we referred to a couple of times. when benjamin butler decides not to send the slaves back to the
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union, to their owners in may of 1861, in one sense he's playing it by ear. there's been no policy. on the other hand he's not flailing about blindly. the argument is beginning to make about five he should be familiar to anyone in the antislavery movement. so nobody could have read it to effect this would have been at this time and then displays french union lines enforce the decision. the decision day for us in sanchez a blind accident. it's always just contingency, free will and determinism that sent being all historians have to do all the time and resist too much, but don't pretend to be and we do have to explain what happened. >> good evening. i especially wanted to ask professor sat for about couple
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things. the golden age of the emancipation proclamation was between 1865 and 1876 when reconstruction came. it wasn't completely implemented in 1865, but by 1876 was going down. now, part of the emancipation proclamation are not often listed up, very important the notion of a decent page and a right to defend. there's some people in the south who still have the police that they lost the war was still cannot believe the emancipation proclamation means anything. does you've got 1898 the bracing. not black folks. the uprising because someone dared print a newspaper, a whole area of the town was burned down or egypt in 1821 burning a black wall street in tulsa, oklahoma. we don't have a significant
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resistance in the south of reconstruction that give people permission to go back to a quasi-slavery. i am like some of the others asking you to do a speculation. what kind is emancipation proclamation to be implemented? what kind of political configuration. third, what kind of political configuration to the effect this? i know i'm asking, but one of my favorite writers but a book recently, the assassination of abraham lincoln that presents the impeachment of abraham lincoln, forgive me, but that lincoln lived longer than when he died. not too much longer, but what might have happened. i've been asking you to take it from 18762 as far as you want to to share what political consideration could have made this work so much better that we
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would still be crafted with these issues today. >> this is awfully complicated. >> you have to do it very quickly. >> what you're really asking with is there any possibility of reconstruction and being successful are more successful than i was? of reconstruction have been successful, if the basic political african-americans had stuck so to speak and miss out that were implemented, then you would have had would have had utopia, nirvana, but would add a much more modern sort of society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. we are oppressed by the tyranny of the fact. if another preconstruction failed in its very hard to figure out alternative scenarios.
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if the republican party had maintained its commitment that it did happen at the end of the civil war, its willingness to enforce the law of the land, the 14th amendment, 15th amendment, civil rights laws, and maybe this could have happened. it's almost impossible to say, but i don't vanquishes throw up our hands and say no, it is absolutely inevitable that, you know, it's 50 years since martin luther king stood up at the lincoln memorial and said they've come to cash the promissory note at the emancipation proclamation. as a century later from the emancipation proclamation. i think it's inevitable to know would take another century for freedom to be implemented for many people. it's very hard to work out his back other scenario to get you from reconstruction to a more democratic and progressive kind of situation and then actually happening. that's about all i can say.
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>> thinking something mr. foner said. despite other casualties, the republicans won in 1864. nixon won -- [laughter] lincoln won, but it struck me that not only the republicans win that election, they donated presidential politics for a couple generations after the civil war that is a real contrast to world war i, world war ii, vietnam, iraq, the opposition party won on the same exchange they had. iraq is particularly striking because the casualties are miniscule and republicans lost an election. that indicates were fighting about something much more important. because of this war may have a less tolerance for word than they did during that time. >> i don't want to make a
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general rule about words and elections. it is an important fact that the civil war fixed the political structure of the united states for two or three generations after the new deal. you look at the maps come with republicans after reconstruction the south was solidly democratic for a long, long time. even if you look at the last election, you can see the civil war imprinted on that map. the parties have switched to speak, but the senate voted completely differently from us to the rest of the country. for whatever reasons. the civil war is imprinted in our politics still today, which suggests it is a tremendous impact on different regions of the country think of themselves. >> this helps explain the last question, too. tilton detmer popular votes than
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1876. in the next four decades, the american history imprint of the civil war, but they are so close that things could have turned out differently. i think what eric is saying is exactly right. i am ministering to the south the next next setting up these is so discouraging that the power of the federal government to ever change. that half the power and everything was pivoting on that. even the way south to do that. the generations that follow in the century of segregation is what eric is saying is that there is precariously balanced structure to power, the white southerners from the south. and until they can't, that stays in place.
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>> well, we'll have to leave it at that. thank everyone for coming. i'd like to thank the panelists. [applause] >> gears for the story starts to get interesting. i'm condensing a lot of things, but i'm just giving the basic gist. petraeus is sent off to fort leavenworth. a lot of people in the army didn't like petraeus. they didn't like officers who were too bookish or his stood out too much and petraeus was very much guilty on both accounts. shiva sent to fort leavenworth, kansas. a lot of people are thinking that's great. we're sending him out to pasture, literally. he gets to fort leavenworth and
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realizes that pain. he realized this is actually the intellectual center of the army, the doctrine. they form the curriculum at the command and general staff college. feature will look to all of these together. one affects the other, which affects the patterns of the next. he says to himself as he is learning what kind of powers he potentially has. he says holy cow and a toxic that. he says things like holy cow, jeepers, super. he says holy cow, they put an insurgent in charge of the engine of change. he views himself as an insurgent. meanwhile -- there is a lot of meanwhile. meanwhile there is a professor at the school of advanced international studies in washington d.c. and eliot cohen and as an eminent military historian, also beating
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neoconservative. he was one of the people that we had to invade iraq and overthrow saddam by force. he is also a member of the defense policy advisory board. so he goes over to iraq to take a look at what is going on. he's the only member of the board because they are and sees it's a disaster. there is this insurgency mounting and nobody knows what to do about it. he comes back feeling really upset because again, kind of paints to go because he was advising this administration. he had advocated for this war. his son like him had graduated from harvard had recently joined the army and was going to be sent to iraq. he was going to be sent into this mess that he helped create. so he thinks he has to do something about this. so he sets up a seminar in basin harbor, vermont. he goes through his rolodex and military journals and invites everybody he can find who has
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written anything remotely interesting about the subject of counterinsurgency warfare. and he comes up with about 30 people and they all assemble in basin harbor for five days to discuss these things. the pivotal thing about this meet is not so much what they discuss is that they matter. most of these people didn't know each other. they didn't know of one another's existence. they thought they were out on a limb, just writing stuff that nobody's going to read that was way against what was going on in the mainstream army. a lot of these people were mid-level officials said a tank types. and they realize they find to community in midfield to do something if they were together. so they come away from basin harbor with a great sense of mission. meanwhile, petraeus said in an leavenworth is lot of these
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people who are at this conference. some of the ways students or colleagues or people who had been and he decides one thing he's going to to do in leavenworth is writing new counterinsurgency manual. there hadn't been one for 20 years. any straws on this group than the basin harbor conference to be his inner circle, to be escaped, to be the people who help them write this conference. in other words outside the usual doctrinal channels within the army. so for things happen at the end of 2006. one, there's nadir of midterm elections. democrats win, bush fires rumsfeld, hires red brigades. two, it is announced petraeus will be going back to iraq as the top commander. number three, bush announces that he is ordering a surge of troops in iraq with another
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20,000 troops. any change in strategy to a counterinsurgency strategy. he calls it clear, bold, an old phrase, the idea of being be declared an area of insurgents, then you stay there and hold it. he dodges straight to the iraqis right away. you say they are in a new help build an infrastructure, help the government provide basic services to build trust within the community, help build a security structure. so these four things did not happen by coincidence. it is all part of this plot. and by the way, when i use the word plot, and generally not a conspiracy guy, but these people reversed themselves as a plot. they call themselves the cabal with a west point mafia because a lot of them can under the social science department at west point which had a tradition among their own graduates.
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so for example, all of this happened not by coincidence. for example, petraeus when he was in leavenworth was interested in leavenworth. he had a vast network of old colleagues at the pentagon yurok receipt. ..
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when it comes to washington elite -- this is not a paula broad we were situation, this is strictly professional. can you imagine -- essentially subverting the chain of command. always kind of been a off the reservation guy. had gone his own way in doing what was necessary. in leavenworth, dug what needs to be done. at the same time, there's a civilian analyst who used to teach hoyt at west point, named fred kagan, who has written a study advocating the surge. petraeus and